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Victor Riesel Papers

Call Number



1929-1994, inclusive
; 1940-1980, bulk


Riesel, Victor.
Riesel, Evelyn (Role: Donor)
Riesel, Michael R. (Role: Donor)


13.75 Linear Feet in 25 manuscript boxes, one record carton, and one folder.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Victor Riesel (1917-1995) was born in New York and was a nationally syndicated labor journalist and an advisor to labor leaders and politicians. In 1946, he began his syndicated daily labor column, which appeared in hundreds of newspapers over the next three decades. Riesel traveled widely and in later years his politics became more conservative. By the early 1970s, he had become an advisor to the Nixon administration on labor matters. The collection includes scrapbooks, clippings, photographs and correspondence with labor leaders, political leaders and government officials, fellow journalists, and his friends and political associates. Prominent individuals include: Allen Dulles, Sidney Hook, J. Edgar Hoover, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and Budd Schulberg among others.

Biographical / Historical

Victor Riesel (1917-1995) was a nationally syndicated labor journalist, and an advisor to labor leaders and politicians. A product of New York's Lower East Side Jewish community, Riesel graduated from City College, and from its progressive political milieu to become a knowledgeable and militantly anti-communist social democrat. After work for a news service and writing for various publications, including a stint as managing editor of the New Leader (a social democratic weekly), in 1946 he began his syndicated daily labor column, which appeared in hundreds of newspapers over the next three decades. He also appeared regularly on radio and television. His exposure of labor racketeers is thought to have led to his blinding in 1956, by a man who flung acid into his eyes. Riesel traveled to some fifty countries, interviewing their labor and political leaders. Riesel's politics became more conservative, and in the early 1970s he became an unofficial, but important advisor to the Nixon administration on labor matters and on Republican outreach to the labor community and to white working class voters, meeting with cabinet level officials.


Organized into four series, further arranged into subseries:

Series I: Biographical
Subseries A: Diaries
Subseries B: Other Autobiographical Material
Series II: Correspondence
Subseries A: General
Subseries B: Addendum
Subseries C: Friendlies
Subseries D: Correspondence-Government
Subseries E: Correspondence-Journalism Career
Subseries F: Correspondence-Guest Columnists
Subseries G: Correspondence-Syndicated Column
Series III: Writings, Topical Files, and Research Materials
Subseries A: Scrapbooks (Riesel articles and columns)
Subseries B: Newspaper Clippings (by and about Riesel)
Subseries C: Other Writings by Riesel
Subseries D: Communism in Hollywood
Subseries E: Topical Files
Series IV: Photographs and Nonprint Materials

Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject/author heading within each series.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains personal and professional materials documenting the life of Victor Riesel. The collection contains diaries, scrapbooks, and other materials regarding personal matters and trips taken by Riesel, as well as a significant amount of materials relating to the acid attack. The majority of the collection is made up of the correspondence with colleagues of Riesel, labor leaders, journalists, government officials, and other individuals, often on his articles and columns. The rest of the collection contains clippings and articles of his writings, as well as two unpublished manuscripts. It also contains photographs of Riesel with individuals and other labor groups and leaders.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Coyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by Victor Riesel was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Victor Riesel Papers; TAM 170; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Evelyn Riesel in 1995. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1995.001 and 1995.017.

Separated Material

The collection included audiocassettes which were separated to OH 500.

Collection processed by

Roy Felshin and Katja Vehlow, 2009. Edited by Nicole Greenhouse for DACS compliance and for the incorporation of nonprint materials, Oct 2013

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-11-10 11:52:50 -0500.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Victor Riesel Photographs (PHOTOS 111). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Victor Riesel Papers.

In 2013, photographs in frames were removed and put into folders.

Edition of this Guide

RIESEL guide.wpd


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012